VLC media player (commonly known as VLC) is a portable, free and open-source, cross-platform media player and streaming media server written by the VideoLAN project. VLC media player supports many audio and video compression methods and file formats, including DVD-Video, video CD and streaming protocols. It is able to stream over computer network and to transcode multimedia files. The default distribution of VLC includes a large number of free decoding and encoding libraries, avoiding the need for finding/calibrating proprietary plugins. Many of VLC’s codecs are provided by the libavcodec library from the FFmpeg project, but it uses mainly its own muxer and demuxers and its own protocols implementations. It also gained distinction as the first player to support playback of encrypted DVDs on Linux and OS X by using the libdvdcss DVD decryption library.
Operating System Compatibility
VLC media player is a cross-platform media player, with versions for Windows, OS X, iOS, Linux, Android, BSD, BeOS, OS/2, Solaris, Syllable and QNX. However, forward and backward compatibility between versions of VLC media player and different versions of OS are not maintained over more than a couple or so generations. 64-bit builds are available, and an experimental version is available for 64-bit Windows. The VLC port for Windows 8 is backed by a Kickstarter campaign to add support for a new GUI based on Microsoft’s Metro design language. It brings support for DVDs, VCDs and unencrypted Blu-ray Discs, none of which are supported in Windows 8. All the existing features including video filters, subtitle support and an equalizer will be present in Windows 8. In May 2012, the VLC team stated that a version of VLC for Android was being developed. A beta version has been made available on Google Play.
Because VLC is a packet-based media player it plays almost all video content. It can play some, even if they’re damaged, incomplete, or unfinished. An example: files that are still downloading via a peer-to-peer (P2P) network). It also plays m2t MPEG transport streams (.TS) files while they are still being digitized from an HDV camera via a FireWire cable, making it possible to monitor the video as it is being played. The player can also use libcdio to access .iso files so that users can play files on a disk image, even if the user’s operating system cannot work directly with .iso images.
VLC supports all audio and video formats supported by libavcodec and libavformat. This means that VLC can play back H.264 or MPEG-4 Part 2 video as well as support FLV or MXF file formats “out of the box” using FFmpeg’s libraries. Alternatively, VLC has modules for codecs that are not based on FFmpeg’s libraries. VLC is one of the free software DVD players that ignores DVD region coding on RPC-1 firmware drives, making it a region-free player. However, it does not do the same on RPC-2 firmware drives, as in these cases the region coding is enforced by the drive itself, however, it can still brute-force the CSS encryption to play a foreign-region DVD on an RPC-2 drive. VLC media player has some filters that can distort, rotate, split, deinterlace, and mirror videos as well as create display walls or add a logo overlay. It can also output video as ASCII art.
VLC media player can play high definition recordings of D-VHS tapes duplicated to a computer using CapDVHS.exe. This offers another way to archive all D-VHS tapes with the DRM copy freely tag. Using a FireWire connection from cable boxes to computers, VLC can stream live, unencrypted content to a monitor or HDTV. VLC media player can display the playing video as the desktop wallpaper, like Windows DreamScene, by using DirectX, only available on Windows operating systems. VLC media player can create screencasts and record the desktop. On Microsoft Windows, VLC also supports the Direct Media Object (DMO) framework and can thus make use of some third-party DLLs. On most platforms, VLC can tune into and view DVB-C, DVB-T, and DVB-S channels. On Mac OS X the separate EyeTV plugin is required, on Windows it requires the card’s BDA Drivers.
VLC can be installed or run directly from a USB flash drive or other external drive. VLC can be extended through scripting. It uses the Lua scripting language. VLC can play videos in the AVCHD format, a highly compressed format used in recent HD camcorders. VLC can generate a number of music visualization displays. The program is able to convert media files into various supported formats.